Editorial aspects

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Editorial aspects of the Mars anthology. What articles will be included? Lengths? Subject matter? URLs of article drafts. Style requirements? Bibliography? Etc.

-- Anonymous, August 30, 2000


For now, refer to http://www.geocities.com/macbot/cydoniabook.html , where I address some of the above. Obviously our requirements needs to be a bit more stringent. But at the same time I'm willing to let this mss. grow as organically as possible. We have some very qualified writers at our disposal, and I suggest we generate a few essays/articles before we try to mold them to any preconceived ideals. Very basically, I hope this to be a more invigorating version of "The Case for the Face," readable by the nonscientist who may not even know there _is_ a controversy over the Face on Mars. So some healthy subversiveness might be called for.

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2000

Is there some idea as to how many pages the book would be? I know its kinda hard to guesstimate that right now, but usually a writer has so many words to work in, or should it be as long as it has to be and maybe limited as to how many writers contribute? I'll start working on my submission soon.

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2000

200 pages should be about right. I never intended for us to produce some ponderous tome on the subject. Rather, something attractive to the eye that can be read or skimmed by anyone with an ounce of curiosity.

Remember, "Martian Genesis" got published and it's neither an attractive book nor a useful contribution to the debate. And its graphics section is abyssmal.

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2000

That sounds like a good size, I agreed that it shouldn't so ponderous you could use it tp weigh down the back of a vehicle for better snow traction! As well, there would be numerous links to web pages/sites that would supplement the data in the book. So something short and sweet with some substance would travel well :)


-- Anonymous, August 31, 2000

I like the "short" idea. And I don't think it will be a problem, honestly. For better or worse, the Regular Joes who might read this typically have a very short attention span. I very much doubt that many of them even remember the Face being photographed in '98 (or '76, for that matter). So something short and effective seems in order. I tend to agree with Lan that this should be a noncommercial venture.

-- Anonymous, September 03, 2000

What exactly do we mean by "noncommercial"? Production of a book of any kind, especially if it's to be a hardcover with graphics, is extremely expensive. We're probably talking $10,000 plus for a mere 1,000 copy print run. If we don't sell the thing, where does the money come from? No publisher is going to publish it if he doesn't see profit potential. "The McDaniel Report" and "The Case for the Face" were commercial ventures. If we're aiming to be in their class I don't see any alternative to charging for the book!

-- Anonymous, September 03, 2000

David wrote: "What exactly do we mean by "noncommercial"? Production of a book of any kind, especially if it's to be a hardcover with graphics, is extremely expensive. We're probably talking $10,000 plus for a mere 1,000 copy print run. "

David makes a very good point. I'm a total novice at authoring books, and he has considerable -- and successful -- experience at it. So it looks to me like it has to be a commercial venture. The copyright roadblocks to using the Kelly enhancement in a book seem to have been removed, which is encouraging. I think a very good book could be written even without the Kelly enhancement, but I think it could be the single most compelling element. Maybe the idea of having it on the cover of the book might even sway a main-stream publishing company to take the plunge.

BTW: Good work, Efrain, on tracking down Starosta!

-- Anonymous, September 03, 2000

I exchanged mail with Efrain and I think he's going to try a cover with the Kelly enhancement being the dominant element, which should be neat to see, as Kelly's image speaks for itself. As for commercial vs. noncommercial: I like the noncommercial route because it would give us an entirely free reign on what to include, whereas a traditional publisher might try to steer it in sensationalistic directions a la "Martian Genesis."

But your arguments are certainly valid--there just doesn't seem to be a way to avoid going commercial. My advice is to contact as many "patrons of 'weird' science" as possible and see if anyone's interested in backing us. Robert Bigelow and Joe Firmage come immediately to mind.

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2000

"Non-commercial?" As if we were giving away one with every copy of Cydonia Crunchies cereal? Nah, we have to take it seriously enough to make it something people will buy. And we should keep our options open as far as who publishes it, we may find either the capitalization or the rest of the process too daunting for widely- separated amateurs, and may want to find an agent.

Size? As big as it needs to be? Probably not as big as Monuments of Mars or Monkey and Tetrahedron, bigger than a slim volume of verse from a sensitive poet. When we have an embarassment of riches we can worry about what we need to trim out, till then let's cast our nets widely. We are looking for articles, not theses. Having Case for the Face as an example would not be a bad idea.

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2000

Carol wrote: "Non-commercial?" As if we were giving away one with every copy of Cydonia Crunchies cereal? Nah, we have to take it seriously enough to make it something people will buy. And we should keep our options open as far as who publishes it, we may find either the capitalization or the rest of the process too daunting for widely- separated amateurs, and may want to find an agent."

Another experienced veteran of the book biz heard from. Even if we all agreed to donate articles to this book without any monetary compensation, the people who print the books and sell them in book stores aren't going to be so generous, so I guess it has to be commercial. But all MGS images (including the Catbox) were produced by the federal government and are public domain; they can be used without any permission. Mike Malin demands that anyone using his enhancements in a commercial publication get his written permission first, but none of his "Face" enhancements are worth using anyway. Both Kelly and Starosta have now given their permission to use their work, so I don't think there's any copyright problem at all there.

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2000

Some thoughts I was kicking around elsewhere with Chronos this morning:

You'll notice we have spent a whole lot of time analyzing Efrain's covers (I prefer the latest one myself, with the images cascading down from the satellite), and juggling name combinations as if they were hexagrams and yarrow stalks. You'll notice that we don't seem to have one single committed article yet. But better a cover and a dream than no cover and a dream, I always say.

We'll have to roundtable it at some point. Put one of us in the hot seat, turn on the bright lights and say "YOU. This is what you do/did best. Write it or revise it." And do the rest in turn.

I'd like to see one of Michael Morton's articles, if he can figure out the "...for Dummies" version to incorporate (er, so that -I- can understand it). There are about 4 pieces of Lan's I'd include. I'd love to see Holger on the pop culture tie-ins, because I think that would be interesting to a culture so dependent on pop culture (i.e., a cool marketable hook).

And as for me -- I'm not sure which territory I'd be best for yet. Maybe a FAQ directed at a more general audience rather than the FAQ on my site which is more specifically oriented to my own discoveries. Maybe Albertane, if I can finally get Robert Shepherd to confirm for me that it is orthographically correct and that I did the processing as best as possible. But Albertane needs also the fishing expedition I wanted to try on for size, to send it as an unidentified satellite image to satellite image archeology people and see if they'll bite at it being artificial or not. For those who don't know it, the current page that is up is at Albertane As some of you know I am trying to keep a low profile at the moment for various reasons, part of which is simply that I'm slowly overhauling the site and preparing to eventually move it out of the freebie website ghetto. I'd appreciate it if you didn't pass around the Albertane information further at the moment, becasue I have a lot of information I will be adding to it to strengthen the case, as long as I can depend on my image being an appropriate one to begin with. (anyone want to look at it and find flaws, dig away -- please, I'd welcome it!) I've found, for example, 9 golden section rectangles within the diagramming of its lines, and that sure as hell doesn't sound like trellis faulting to me. I think it blows the Inca City out of the water, so to speak, as far as being a candidate for regularity.

Maybe a section ought to be a "Top Ten Mars Anomalies," (you know, what I was fishing for earlier on the TEM bbs this year), as people go for Top Ten lists (i.e., another marketable hook).

It is so hard to retro-write for the print media, I am finding, no hyperlinks allowed, and footnotes just aren't the same. How you gonna get them back on the farm,after they've seen Paree, etc. There's going to be a word like analog watch or rotary telephone that covers that kind of writing at some point.

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2000

Carol! Your Albertane link said page not available???


-- Anonymous, September 10, 2000

Try this for Albertane , Geocities has been changing around the naming conventions a bit, and sometimes I can get in some ways and not others.

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2000

Thanks Carol! It worked that time. VERY interesting. I looked at the other pages while I was there too.

I must say I am quite impressed with the Albertane 'geometry'. Do you know of anyone (other than Mike Malin) who has studied this area closely? It certainly looks as though it could do with further scrutiny.

Good find. Congratulations.


-- Anonymous, September 17, 2000


I think we've all got a pretty good sense of what we want. If my own attempts at writing are any indication, our "first draft" is going to be just that.

I'm working on an introduction to the Cydonia controversy which I'll post on my site and on the list for review. In the meantime, I'd love to read any pieces you're working on. Lan and David were both interested in highlighting NASA's very unscientific treatment of Cydonia (Lan expressed interest at the prospect of commentating on the Kelly image, since that might not make much of an appearance in the new "Case for the Face").

Efrain mentioned doing something on the mystery that is Phobos. I think this would make an excellent complimentary piece.

(One of my most well-received online pieces is the Cydonia "FAQ." I'd like to introduce this volume with a modified form of this.)

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2000

Vicky, I doubt that Malin's seen Albertane, though I don't know since I haven't got a program that tracks visitors. It's one reason I am keeping Albertane quiet, till I can get it up somewhere where I can see who has been visiting. It's so low contrast, on a relatively featureless plain, that I can't think they saw it. They certainly haven't made any public comment, not even that it is a fine case of trellis faulting. I saw it the first day that swath came out with the Cydonia images in 1998, have been working on it ever since. It's like the old Sufi saying, "The pickpocket meets God and sees only God's pockets." Malin looks for geology and sees geology, I look for sacred geometry and see... (you get the picture). One reason I like the geometrical approach is because it doesn't require the refutation of seeing faces in clouds.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2000

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